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The influences on Anthony Burgess' A Clcokwork Orange were both historical and personal. Much of the novel reflects Burgess' reactions to a visit to the Soviet Union in 1961 and his revulsion against the way in which the totalitarian state controlled the lives and behavior of the people. He also noted the growth of a violent youth gang culture in Russia quite similar to that he found at home in the impoverished inner cities of Britain. His notion of gang violence as a response to an over-controlling state led him to become an advocate of anarchism.
The specific personal; incident leading to the novel was an episode in which some AWOL United States soldiers stationed in England during World War II assaulted his pregnant wife, killing their baby, and precipitated in his wife a form of PTSD leading her to alcohol and eventually premature death.
LIteray influences include many modernist authors such as James Joyce and Flann O'Brien (who also used polyglot language) and dystopian science fiction.
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